Motoring News

Battery off-roader: Any gradient, anywhere, on spider legs

  • Electric mini-4×4 delivers unique off-road experience
  • Independent suspension, motor on each wheel
  • Any gradient, any direction, driver stays upright
SPIDER-CAR FROM FRANCE. Image: Swincar / Newspress
SPIDER-CAR FROM FRANCE. Image: Swincar / Newspress

LONDON, England – The off-roader pictured above is a Swincar E-Spider, an all-wheel drive battery buggy that’s just gone on sale in the UK where it will cost the equivalent of about R230 000.

Ouch! And in its current form the French machine is not even road-legal. The spidery car will be sold there by Pocket Classics, the only UK dealer.

The versatile off-roader is hand-built on an aluminium chassis and designed to cross a diverse range of terrain with total freedom. It was launched in France in 2015.

SPIDER-CAR FROM FRANCE. Image: Swincar / Newspress
SPIDER-CAR FROM FRANCE. Image: Swincar / Newspress

The extreme flexibility of the E-spider makes it is suitable for leisure, agricultural, civilian and military applications and that ability comes with the spider-legs design which constantly change the machine’s centre of gravity.

Rolling on a steep gradient, therefore, is very unlikely.


Each of the car’s four wheels has an electric motor and is independently suspended on those long arms to counter the different gradient under each wheel. It can traverse up and down inclines as steep as 70 degrees.

Snow is no problem, ditches can be crossed diagonally, and all the time the driver remains upright. Very clever!

The E-Spider takes its power from a lithium-iron battery-pack capable of about 100km/four hours of driving – subject to how it is being used (it does, after all, weigh only 200kg) – and has the potential for about 30km/h on flat ground.

Recharge to full requires about two hours.

READ MORE about the E-Spider

WATCH the Swincar in action off-road

It’s said to be simple to manoevure with the aid of hydraulic power for the steering and quad bike-style throttle. Being electric, there is no gearbox.

James Cooper, Pocket Classics’ MD, told Carman’s Corner in a media release: “The Swincar E-Spider offers a unique and exciting off-road experience. Its adventure boundaries are almost limitless and we expect demand to be extremely high.

“It’s such a novel product.”

Technical specification
Length: 2.00m
Width: 1.30m
Height: 1.30m
Wheelbase: 1.40m
Ground clearance: 0.22m
Weight with battery pack: 200kg
Running gear: Four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel drive and steering
Brakes: Hydraulic with 200mm discs

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